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KTM’s Styke Wraps Up His Pre-Season in NZ | Latest

KTM’s Luke Styke considers he’s “almost there” after a constructive season of New Zealand Championship racing concluded at Taupo at the weekend.

Styke finished fourth in the final round at Digger McEwen Park for fourth in the championship, which was won by Cody Cooper ahead of Dean Ferris and Rhys Carter.

Just a week away from the opening round of this year’s MX Nationals, Styke believes he has put most of the damage of a year-long recovery from an Achilles tendon injury behind him, and is almost back to top form.

In 2015, Styke rode a stellar rookie MX1 year for the KTM Motocross Racing Team, winning his fourth ever MX1 round, and finishing equal third in the championship points (fourth on countback).

In MX2, KTM’s Hamish Harwood successfully defended his New Zealand championship with a victory in the final round.

Harwood won the championship from Dylan Walsh and Ethan Martens.

KTM-mounted Hayden Smith made it two championships for the orange men, when he wrapped up the 125cc championship ahead of Kurtis Lily and Hayden Wilkinson.

Jay Marmont – KTM Motocross Racing Team Manager: “This championship has been a great building block for us with where we want to go, both to develop Luke’s level, and to help form that relationship of trust between the rider and the Team Manager.

What works on race day and what works during the week is sometimes two different things, and that’s part of the reason we go racing, is to test ourselves. Luke proved to me throughout the series that he’s picked up his stamina and at Taupo he was there for the full twenty minutes in the last moto of the day. I was impressed with that.

I’m 100% happy with the 2017 KTM 450 SX-F we’ve got to work with this year and we’ve got the best guys in our corner, so we’re working hard to win that championship back. We’ll keep working until we reach our goals.”

Luke Styke – KTM450SX-F: “Glad to be done, they were some tough weekends, but it’s been good, solid preparation going into Round One of the MX Nationals. I think after the injury and being out for so long I definitely needed to go there and do some quality racing. The day started off with some good qualifying – we were within a second, which was good because I’m not normally a very good qualifier. The first two motos we just struggled through, and I had no confidence as the track roughed up. We made a setup change for the last moto and I got second, so it was a good turnaround.

We missed third by one or two points, but coming from where I was last year to here is awesome. We’ve still got a little way to go to get the maximum out of myself, but we’re definitely on the right track.”